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Alberta MPs fight back as Liberals tell Trudeau to nix mine

Alberta MPs launched a counter attack on Thursday after a report surfaced Liberal MPs have been pleading with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to give the thumbs down to a new oil sands project.

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Alberta MPs launched a counter attack on Thursday after a report surfaced Liberal MPs have been pleading with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to give the thumbs down to a new oil sands project.

The Teck Frontier mine in northern Alberta would create thousands of jobs and add hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil into the province’s economy.

But Liberal MPs who campaigned on a platform of climate change have been telling Trudeau to nix it. Reportedly, many of them did so at a Wednesday caucus meeting.

It has already been reported that before approving the mine the feds want Alberta to commit to becoming a net-zero emitter of carbon gas by 2050. That’s the same year Canada has pledge to do the same.

“If we are truly committed to net-zero by 2050 and to the science, and to the world, and to our future and tackling climate change, there is no explanation sitting here today as to how this project fits within that commitment. So should it proceed as it stands? I think it’s a pretty easy no,” ” Beaches–East York MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith told HuffPost Canada.

Alberta MP Michelle Rempel Garner lashed back on Twitter.

“Let me quote ⁦@ShannonStubbsMP⁩ – ‘a political rejection of this project by the Liberal cabinet will be perceived by most Albertans as a final rejection of Alberta by Canada,'” she tweeted.

“Would Trudeau deny Ontario or Quebec a multi billion dollar project that will create thousands of jobs?”

Teck itself issued a statement this week saying it also hoped it would become a net-zero emitter by 2050.

Michelle Rempel Garner

Premier Jason Kenney has repeatedly voiced frustration the feds haven’t yet approved the $20.6-billion mine.

The project, a “truck and shovel” oil sands mine, “will consist of surface mining operations, a processing plant, tailings management facilities, water management facilities, and associated infrastructure and support facilities,” according to a statement on the company’s website. It’s expected to produce 260,000 barrels of oil a day.

“Teck has also reached agreements with all 14 Indigenous communities in the broader Frontier project area.”

The federal government has said they would give an answer on the mine before the end of February.

Federal Environment Minister Johnathan Wilkinson hinted last week approval would be based on how Alberta approaches climate change.

“With respect to (Frontier), we need to look at all the environmental impacts, we obviously need to look at the economic opportunities, and we need to ensure we’re taking both into account,” Wilkinson said.

“Certainly, one of those issues is how does this project fit with Canada’s commitments to achieving the reductions we are committing to (for) 2030, and the net zero commitment to 2050? I would just say again that it’s important that all provinces are working to help Canada to achieve its targets.”

Wilkinson said all provinces, including Alberta, are expected to do their part to help Canada meet those commitments.

The UCP government unveiled their industrial emitter plan, TIER (Technology, Innovation and Emissions Reduction system), in Bill 19, passed during the fall legislature session.

TIER replaced the NDP’s Climate Leadership Plan by maintaining the price on pollution for large emitters but repealing the price on other businesses and residents. The federal price on carbon for Albertans, excepting large emitters, came into effect January 1, 2020.

Under TIER, facilities can either reduce their emissions or; use credits from other facilities, use emissions offsets from non-regulated organizations, or pay into the TIER fund at $30 per tonne.

The Alberta government launched its challenge of federal carbon pricing in 2019 and presented arguments Dec. 16-18 in Alberta’s Court of Appeal.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

Twitter: Nobby7694

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard. He has served as the City Editor of the Calgary Sun and has covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years. dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

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MP blasts CBC for attack on the Western Standard

In October, the CBC sent a legal warning to the Western Standard complaining the site had been using the networks “Gem” logo.

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An Alberta MP took on the CBC Wednesday in the House of Commons for making legal threats against the Western Standard.

In October, the CBC sent a legal warning to the Western Standard complaining that the online magazine had been using the networks “Gem” logo.

“There a couple of rights we need to pay attention to today and that’s the freedom of speech,” Bow River Tory MP Martin Shields told the House.

“The Western Standard … has got into difficulty with the CBC. The government broadcaster’s threatening legal action against the publication… This is wrong we need freedom of speech essentially in this time.

“For the CBC to take legal action against the Western Standard, that’s not right. We need freedom of speech.”

Shields also said people’s right to religion and gather in churches must also be respected.

“We need to work to protect those rights, especially during COVID-19,” Shield said.

On October 22, 2020, the CBC’s Legal Department served notice to the Western Standard that it believed that it was in violation of the trademark of its “Gem” logo. 

The CBC cited a graphic posted by Western Standard on its social media accounts stating “Sick of fake news?” beside the CBC logo, above a line stating “Follow us instead” beside the Western Standard logo. 

The CBC’s Legal Department demanded that the Western Standard remove the graphic associating it with “Fake News”, and all other uses of the CBC’s logo on the Western Standard’s website and social media channels. The Western Standard regularly refers to the CBC on its social media material promoting the Western Standard as an alternative to government-owned and government-funded media.

 The full letter from the CBC’s Legal Department can be read here.

Western Standard New Media Corp. President, CEO and Publisher Derek Fildebrandt responded to the CBC.

“No. We will not be censored by the CBC. We will not let the CBC’s billion-dollar taxpayer-budget bully us into compliance. We will not stop calling out fake news. We will not stop fighting against government-ownership and government-funding of the media.” 

“If the CBC has extra money to fund an entire legal department to try and intimidate the free press, then they should refund this money back to taxpayers.” 

“The Western Standard is proud to be one of a very small number of media outlets in Canada that refuses to accept government funding or to be subject to media licensing.” 

The Western Standard retained former Alberta Minister of Justice & Solicitor General Jonathan Denis, Q.C. of Guardian Law as legal counsel. 

Our client disclaims and denies any such infraction. Relating to the alleged copyright infringement (which our client profusely denies), the concept of “fair dealing” is a well-recognized principle. “Fair dealing” is an exception to the Copyright Act R.S.C. 1985 c. C-42 that permits the use of a copyright owned by another party “for the purpose of research, private study, education, or satire.”

“Having regard to the foregoing, our client will not accede to what is clearly an attempt at censorship of an opposing view.”  The full response from Denis can be read here.Download

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Legal warning shot fired at Manitoba mandatory church closures

The Justice Centre has informed the Brian Pallister government that declaring drive-in religious services to be outlawed by the Public Health Order violates the fundamental freedoms of religion and peaceful assembly.

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The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms has issued a warning letter to Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister for violating the Charter freedoms of faith communities in Manitoba.

The Justice Centre has informed the Brian Pallister government that declaring drive-in religious services to be outlawed by the Public Health Order violates the fundamental freedoms of religion and peaceful assembly.

Near Steinbach, Manitoba, RCMP officers shut down a socially-distanced drive-thru church service on Sunday and handed out tickets as close to 100 cars tried to get in.
 
“Premier Pallister has two days to reverse this decision, or the Justice Centre will file for an injunction to prevent the continual enforcement of fines and tickets against church goers,” JCCF said in a Thursday release.
 
Various Manitoba churches have attempted drive-in services since the Public Health Orders ordered them to shut down on November 22.

Steinbach drive thu service

These churches had been carefully following social distancing guidelines by planning church services using the same format as a drive-in movie. Churches asked worshippers to stay in their vehicles and to listen to the service and participate in religious services via their radios.

Car windows remained closed. Many such services have occurred without incident across Canada this past weekend, and began earlier this spring when the first lockdowns shut down churches.
 
“If Manitoba consistently applied this same approach equally to the entire province, it would lead to a ban on all public parking during the Covid-19 pandemic, including at Costco, Walmart, and liquor stores,” said Allison Pejovic, a lawyer at the Justice Centre.
 
“The Covid-19 pandemic does not suspend the protection of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, or the rights of Canadians. The restriction of public religious gatherings in which people exclusively occupy their personal vehicles on a parking lot while worshipping is irrational, unnecessary and not a minimal impairment of Charterrights.

“The measures taken by the Church provide much more safety to public health than long lineups of people waiting to get into the liquor store or Costco, or sitting in their vehicles bumper to bumper at the Tim Horton’s drive-thru.”

Manitoba has seen 17,107 cases of COVID-19 leading to 329 deaths.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694
 

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Seattle approves massive cut to police as murder figures soar

Council members overwhelmingly to cut funds for police training and overtime and to eliminate dozens of vacant positions within the Seattle Police Department after months of contentious talks.

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The murder rate in Seattle has soared to its highest level in a decade – as the city council approved cutting the police budget by nearly 20 per cent.

Council members voted overwhelmingly to cut funds for police training and overtime and to eliminate dozens of vacant positions within the Seattle Police Department after months of contentious talks.

The cut will amount to 18 per cent.

That falls well short of the 50 per cent local activists demanded amid nationwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice.

Following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis protesters burned down a police precinct building and set up the Capital Hill Autonomous Zone, which sought to operate on Marxist-Leninist principles.

At least 31 people were arrested at the CHAZ zone and crime rose by more than 500 per cent in just over three weeks. 

Thousands of protesters – many hailing from the far-left ANTIFA terrorist organization – took over the six-square block area of Seattle, where no police officers were allowed.

The commune quickly run out of food, putting out a plea for “vegan meat alternatives” and other soy-based food donations.

They had a list of demands, including the “abolition” of the Seattle Police Department and its attached court system, free college for all people in the state, as well as “the abolition of imprisonment, generally speaking, but especially the abolition of both youth prisons and privately-owned, for-profit prisons.”

The streets were controlled by a hip hop artist-turned-warlord by the name of Raz Simone, who established an armed private police force that does did hesitate to dole out beatings to communal scofflaws.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Seattle’s Mayor Jenny Durkan engaged in a war of words over the Zone.

“Take back your city NOW. If you don’t do it, I will,” Trump warned Durkan and Washington state governor Jay Inslee – both Democrats – in a tweet, calling the protesters “domestic terrorists” who have taken over Seattle.

“This is not a game. These ugly Anarchists must be stooped (sic) IMMEDIATELY. MOVE FAST,” he said in another tweet.

Durkan replied, telling Trump to “go back to his bunker” a reference to when Trump sheltered in the White House bunker after D.C protests and riots got too close.

Inslee tweeted: “A man who is totally incapable of governing should stay out of Washington state’s business. ‘Stoop’ tweeting.”

Two people – including a 16-year-old boy – were shot and killed around CHAZ – with police finally moving in on July 1st and cleared up the area.

Seattle’s city council also decided to transfer parking enforcement officers, mental health workers and 911 dispatchers out of the police department.

“I believe we are laying the groundwork to make systemic and lasting changes to policing,” Mayor Jenney Durkan said in a statement.

Durkan will sign the police cut order this week.

“We have rightly put forward a plan that seeks to ensure SPD has enough officers to meet 911 response and investigative needs throughout the city, while acknowledging and addressing the disproportionate impacts policing has had on communities of colour, particularly Black communities,” she said.

“I applaud the City Council for taking a more deliberate and measured approach to the 2021 Seattle Police Department budget than occurred this summer which led to the resignation of former SPD Chief Carmen Best.”

Former Seattle police chief Carmen Best

The budget will spend up to $100 million for projects in communities of colour and the hiring of 100 police officers in 2021.

The budget moves come as the Seattle marked the 55th murder of the year Monday.

The city had 28 homicide victims last year and 32 in 2018.

Burglaries are also up. There have been 8,418 burglary incidents, compared to 7,634 in 2019.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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